The jobs market continued to worsen in November, says the monthly Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.
The report highlighted a continuation of the recent sharp downward trend in staff appointments amid the malaise afflicting the wider economy.
Permanent placements declined for an eighth consecutive month in November, with the rate of contraction accelerating to a new survey record.
Similarly, temporary staff billings fell at the sharpest rate in the series history. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the deteriorating economic climate and ongoing credit squeeze had resulted in many companies placing recruitment programmes on hold.
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Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, said, "These figures confirm that the jobs market has hit the wall. While public sector, contracting and interim are faring slightly better, it is now clear the government must not remove the VAT concession on temporary work planned for April as this will destroy jobs when we can least afford it."
In the IT sector, according to the report, only CNC programmers are in real demand in both the permanent and temporary job markets.